Anyone who says that the role of printed media has disappeared, is wrong if you ask us. You can hear those phrases every now and then. “The newspaper? That is like flogging a dead horse” or “nowadays, nobody reads anymore, printed media has no future”. These are assumptions that are often being made casually and where such dismissing gesture is added to. Because printed media is dead. “And otherwise in 10 years or less. Everybody knows that, right?”

At TALK ABOUT, we disagree. We’ve been saying this for years now: printed media will always stay. Nothing better than the smell of a recently opened magazine, the ritual of a fresh newspaper on a Saturday morning. Or the sight of a stack of coffee table books. Enjoy! Of course, online media is more important than ever and keeps on growing. We ‘snatch’ some information and entertainment from it. It’s fast, easy and there is plenty of it. The traditional role of the print media is thus completely on the loose. But anyone who says that printed media has disappeared, is absolutely wrong in our opinion.

Last Thursday, my colleague Natasja and I spent an evening in Amsterdam. We had a busy schedule ahead of us. And that was all about: printed media! First the launch of Boque, a book full of projects from the construction and architecture world to which several customers of TALK ABOUT contributed. Campaigner Katja van Roosmalen told us that she was looking for real stories and a look&feel à la Vogue, inviting us to ‘read with a good glass of wine’. Mission completed if you ask about it. Boque serves its target group with a pleasant refreshment. There is a clear contrast with ‘standard’ B2B magazines – without wanting to detract from this – that you don’t easily get carried away with when you’re bathing. And certainly don’t leave it on the dining table just ‘for the pretty sight’. The second stop was another book launch: the Canal House Special by ELLE Deco. A pleasant surprise as well. What a great collection of Amsterdam interiors. Beautiful photos, beautiful stories. Very pleasant to look through and again: 100% coffee table-proof. The main editor Evelien Reich was proud, and she had every right to be. She also agreed: printed media is alive! But then in a different way and with a different function. Because today’s printed media requires choices to be made. “It has to be really good,” says Evelien. “And also beautiful.”

And indeed. For the newspapers, it is nowadays the really good journalistic backgrounds that know how to make the difference. And magazines are becoming more and more saved copies because of the luxury paper types and printing techniques, good photography and goal-oriented content in the form of specials and niche themes. In fact, it is the exact opposite of the ‘oh so growing’ online media. Not much, not really fast and massive, but limited, slow and original. When online content has to constantly compete with Snapchat, Whatsapp messages and other push-notifications, paper gives peace and (literally) a firm hold. The choice of focus may pay the price of quantity and therefore circulation numbers, for example, but it does guarantee future-proofing and quality boost.

Interior design magazine Residence; our third stop during our Amsterdam tour. It fits perfectly with the overall picture. A clear cosmopolitan style, aimed at the higher segment. Their collaboration with PAN Amsterdam (Residence has been a media partner of this art fair for five years now and has its own stand there) is a great example of a cross-media approach with a strong focus on quality and exclusivity.

Printed media stays. That is pretty clear. But of course, one does not exclude the other. It better not, because to fully serve your target group and to keep them up with the lessons, a media mix is necessary. That is why Boque is looking to collaborate with the online platform Galleo (kind of like Google for construction projects-land) and why both ELLE Decoration and Residence regularly organise their own event in which the ‘real life’ experience of the magazines is the focus. And what about LINDA? With its own event, online news portal and TV app, it is the ultimate example of the today’s magazine: a strong brand with brand experience. But the same thing goes here: focus! Dare to choose and and therefore to exclude. Because even if this means making compromises, it is the key to success if you ask us. And of course we can’t help but agree with Evelien: make it very beautiful. At least here, the Boque and the Canal House Special are shining on the table; keep up the good work!